GigaOM Podcasts







November 2014
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It's great that there are a ton of open source projects available for the taking, but checking them out and trying to get a feel for how they'll work out can be tricky for newbies (and even for some more grizzled veterans.)

That's why the [company]Netflix[/company] engineering brain trust rolled out ZeroToDocker last week --which promises to make it much easier for shop to test out say Asgard, Netflix's cloud deployment tool, in a limited setting before deploying it at scale. Basically, ZeroToDocker lets you (provided you have a [company]Docker[/company] host) run a single node of an NetflixOSS project with a one (1!) single command. Easy peasy.

"Once the images are downloaded it's Docker run, Docker run, Docker run with one parameter a piece and you don't need to understand much about it to get it running," Andrew Spyker, senior software engineer who joined Netflix from IBM not that long ago tells us.

Our other guest, Ruslan Meshenberg, director of cloud platform engineering also talks about why Netflix is all fired up about open-sourcing the technologies it builds to augment Amazon Web Services. Netflix is, after all, in the video streaming business.

Netflix senior software engineer Andrew Spyker
Netflix senior software engineer Andrew Spyker

Meshenberg acknowledges that Netflix OSS has no impact on the Netflix P&L but it is helpful all the same. "We want to validate what we're doing against the community. We don't want to be that unicorn stuck in a cul de sac, if you will. It's good to have external validation that we're not creating one-offs that we then have to maintain," he said.

And that OSS goodness makes it easier for Netflix to hire top engineering talent in the valley where it is a white-hot commodity.

Oh, and it also gives Netflix a leg up on hiring top engineering talent, which pretty much is all about open-source.

But before we get to all the Netflix/AWS goodness, Derrick Harris talks about all the action from [company]Google[/company], Stanford University, [company]Microsoft[/company] and others heating up the neural network sector; and we discuss the latest Microsoft Azure stumble. (Oh, since it's been a few sentences since I mentioned Docker, we'll also touch on the fact that people -- if they are so disposed -- can now run Docker instances from their Windows desktops.)

So get comfy and have a listen.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:00 AM

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:04 PM

Amazon Web Services had a lot of stuff up its sleeve this week with its new MySQL-compatible  Aurora relational database service, a new Docker container service, a service catalog, and Lambda, an event-driven compute service. This week on the show, Derrick Harris and I do our best to put all this into context.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels speaking at AWS Re:Invent.
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels speaking at AWS Re:Invent.

But lest we forget, there is a world outside [company]Amazon[/company] and in that world HortonWorks filed for an initial public offering, which could show how well the public markets will grok Hadoop. New Relic also filed to go public.

And in other big news that would have been unthinkable a few years back, [company]Microsoft[/company], with help from [company]Xamarin[/company],  is open-sourcing .Net trove of development tools and frameworks.  I'm still not convinced the bulk of Linux and  Mac developers were waiting for this to happen, but hey, it's a nice gesture no?

So get comfy and listen up. And we promise we'll have a guest next week.

Direct download: 111414_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36 PM

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Category:Technology -- posted at: 1:09 PM

This week's podcast is basically all about Amazon in that we cover Amazon's launch of a product called Echo that combines a speaker and voice recognition to offer an in-home personal assistant that's sort of like Siri. But also this week I have Jim Adkins, Vice President for Home Improvement at Amazon, as the guest. He's in charge of all of the home automation products on the site and discusses some trends for the holiday, some of the benefits Amazon has over other retailers in selling connected devices and shares his email address so startups that want to get listed on Amazon can make contact with the online retailer.

I recorded my conversation with Adkins before the launch of the Echo, so we didn't discuss that (he wouldn't have anyhow), so don't get your hopes up on that front. Kevin and I share a few Christmas gift recommendations and I also share the sad news that we'll be putting the Internet of Things show on a hiatus after this show until CES in January. So, enjoy this podcast and I hope it lasts for several weeks.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Jim Adkins, Vice President for Home Improvement at Amazon.

  • We're taking a break from the podcast until CES
  • Some holiday gift ideas for you
  • Amazon launches the Echo and Kevin and I discuss voice UI in the home
  • Why Amazon is so excited about home automation products
  • How a startup can get their product on
Direct download: 111114_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52 AM

Some of us (that would be you Derrick Harris) were skeptical about whether Google really, really, really wanted to be in the cloud business. Well we're starting to be convinced after this week's Google Cloud Platform Live event. At the very least a lot of resources are being poured into this effort, which, as Google Cloud product marketing lead Brian Goldfarb reminds us, builds atop massive infrastructure including the Andromeda software-defined-network infrastructure and Kubernetes container management system already in use in Google's, um, other business.

Goldfarb has a lot to say about Google's place in the enterprise cloud spectrum and the competitive landscape, so make sure you listen,s tarting at around minute 12 if you're in a hurry.

Derrick and I also discuss the state of OpenStack as the OpenStack Summit winds down in Paris. And no, neither of us got to go. But our colleague David Meyer did and he examined the continuing rocky relationship between Red Hat and Mirantis. And, four years into OpenStack's journey, there are still not very many big production environments, and here is one reason why.

Oh, and I kid about Derrick's Google goggles. He really wasn't skeptical about Google cloud at all.

Brian Goldfarb
Brian Goldfarb, product marketing lead for Google Cloud Platform.


Direct download: 110614_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43 PM

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Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:37 AM

The same system we use to keep track of web site addresses should be adapted for identifying devices on the internet of things, says Andrew Sullivan, the director of architecture at DYN. In this week's podcast Sullivan explains why we should use the domain name system for the internet of things (a plan that Google also seems to be endorsing with its Physical Web) and what it might take to adapt URLs for devices.

His argument is that other schemes might be technically better, but would require everyone to adopt an entirely new architecture, which is a pretty rare event in the world of tech standards. So by using something that we know can scale and is already in place we can move faster toward devices that can connect to the web and share information on demand. Before we get to the in-depth architecture conversation, Kevin Tofel and I discuss the new Microsoft Band activity tracker, some improvements for Nest and a few questions I have about upgrading a smart home hub.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Andrew Sullivan director of Architecture at DYN.

  • Kevin really likes the Microsoft Band. Here's why.
  • I really like two new Nest features because I'm simple that way
  • Why use DNS for the internet of things? Plus a bit on Google's plans.
  • Who will manage the internet of things' domain name servers?
  • Why using DNS may not make sense
Direct download: 110414-01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02 AM

Skeptics and smart asses (raising hand here) contend that any cloud delivered by a hardware provider is immediately suspect because it's just a way for that vendor to sell more of that aforementioned hardware. There is some validity to that theory but there is also nuance. For example, most legacy hardware businesses are now fully into the software game. Count EMC among them.

As Jeremy Burton, president of product and marketing for the Hopkinton, Mass.-based storage giant, says on this week's show: "Old images die hard ... I have about 15,000 people that work for me, 300 of them do hardware ... but hardware is just a wrapper to deliver the software."

EMC's storage expertise -- in hardware and software -- is the foundation of its newly announced hybrid cloud strategy. Viper, EMC's software-defined storage layer and DSSD, the super-secret Flash storage startup EMC bought about 8 months ago, will play a big role in the internet of things era as companies demand more real-time information processing, Burton said.

While EMC hasn't talked much at all about what's going on with DSSD, that will start to change soonish. "You'll start hearing next year about how this [technology] offers mind-blowing performance and latencies really geared to in-memory databases that process streams of data coming from mobile devices," Burton said. "That super-high-performance will complement the commodity infrastructure that we have underneath Viper, that sits beneath Hadoop."

DSSD will work hand-in-glove the Pivotal application and data fabric to underlie next-gen apps, Burton said. Unlike traditional storage arrays, DSSD will talk "native HDDS" to the applications. "It doesn't smell like a storage array, it doestn' talk iSCSI or Fibre Channel, it talks natively what the application speaks. And a lot of the services it enables we will provide ultimately through Pivotal Cloud Foundry PaaS layer,"he added.

Intrigued? Well there's lots more here from Burton about how EMC's recent acquisitions of Cloudscaling, Spanning and Maginetics fit into its cloud plans.

Burton's segment starts about 12 minutes in. In the first segment, Derrick Harris and I discuss the IBM-and-Twitter partnership that, at first blush, seemed odd, but when you think about it makes absolutely great sense for both parties.




Jeremy Burton, EMC president of product and marketing.
Jeremy Burton, EMC president of product and marketing.
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Category:general -- posted at: 5:01 PM

Getting things online is an essential element of the internet of things, but the way that people can do it is expanding greatly. In this week's podcast my colleague Kevin Fitchard and I discuss how companies like Facebook are expanding internet access, how companies like Fon are building data-sharing services on top of Wi-Fi and how peer-to-peer networks can make the internet of things more available, cheaper and resilient.

We also are including a panel from our Structure Connect show last week that features Kate Drane from Indiegogo and Rachel Chalmers from Ignition Partners discussing how to avoid alienating your crowdfunding backers in case of a sale, as well as whether or not an entrepreneur should take venture capital. So put in your headphones or glide into the HOV lane and enjoy the show.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Fitchard and a reprise of a Structure Connect panel featuring Tom Krazit, Rachel Chalmers of Ignition Partners and Kate Drane of Indigogo.

  • The secret to Facebook's isn't drones, it's carriers
  • How peer-to-peer networks could help establish cheaper connections for IoT
  • Will Ford sell cars or transportation?
  • How to avoid a crowdfunding disaster after an exit event
  • Do you really want venture capital?
Direct download: 102714_02-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25 AM